Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is the upcoming war (and peace) drama based on the award-winning 2012 novel of the same name by Ben Fountain (that’s taking a slow walk to release as well). Described by Wikipedia as a “sharp satire”, the novel deals with themes that include “brotherhood, the commercialization of war, and what it really means to support the war when the real costs are barely felt by the majority of U.S. citizens at home.”
It’s been getting a fair amount of early Oscar contender buzz based on the subject matter – namely a young soldier struggling to come to terms with his wartime experiences and reconnect with his family while being feted as a national hero – as well as the filming method by director Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountain) which utilises 120 fps high frame rate technology, which I’ll let Kristen Stewart (courtesy of Collider) explain:
An insanely high frame rate would give you like a slow motion effect, but if you put it in real time you’re just getting more information than we’re used to. But usually if you do that without whatever process he’s doing — which I have no idea — it makes it look like reality TV, it makes it crisp in a way that actually detaches you.[But] he messes with depth of field and makes this 3D situation where — usually the way a lens works, you control where the focal point is, [but] in this case everything’s in focus. So when you watch the movie you can decide, almost as if you’re there in person, what you want to look at, which has just never been seen before on film.
Okay. Anyhow let’s get on with the show – the official plot synopsis is as follows:
The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour.
Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game, the film reveals what really happened to the squad – contrasting the realities of the war with America’s perceptions.
On paper this movie has everything I want from a war movie – a good cast chewing on some interesting, meaty subject matter, and lots of explosions. But after watching the trailer I’m really not sure anymore because it comes across as cheesy and superficial. Could the latter be intentional? I hope so.
What do you think?
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is due for release in the US on 11 November, Veteran’s Day. Directed by Ang Lee, with the screenplay by Jean-Christophe Castelli based on the book by Ben Fountain, it stars Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin, Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker and Garrett Hedlund.
Last Updated: October 25, 2016